5 STAR BAND
The 5 Star Band is a well seasoned group of musicians that play a variation of different types of music, ranging from rock n roll, oldies, blues, jazz, swing and country. The 5 Star Band members can play different types of instruments that include: bass, rhythm, lead and steel guitar, as well as banjo, mandolin, fiddle, keyboards, sax, trumpet, drums and a host of other instruments. All members are professional musicians and have entertained throughout the United States and abroad. The 5 Star Band has been performing together for about 10 years. The Band has played for private social clubs, weddings and other parties, as well as corporate functions and city events.
Below is a short Biography of each Band member.
Craig Rowe – Band leader, drummer and percussionist. Craig has been playing drums for over 30 years and is passionate about his music. He has performed with such artists as Doug Stone, Tanya Tucker, Chuck Berry, BTO, Lacy J. Dalton and others. Craig has played at the Crazy Horse, The Palomino Club, Cowboy Boogie, The HOP, Madam Wong's, The Forum, The Silver Bullet and other well known clubs. Craig was born in Whittier, CA and moved to Fullerton when he was just a year old. His mother said that when he was just a baby he would stand up against the side of his crib, and pound on the railings when listening to Lawrence Welk on TV, and it was then that his mother realized he had a passion for music. So when he turned 3, his mother bought his first drum set, from then on it was history.
Skip Harrison – Bass player and lead vocalist. Skip has been playing music for over 40 years and has a great love for all types of music. His vocal ability ranges from alto to baritone and loves performing with the 5 Star Band. He's a good front man and relates well with the audience. Skip has done studio work for many other musicians. He played in Las Vegas, Reno and Tahoe, and
also played in clubs such as The Crazy Horse, The Palomino Club, Cowboy Boogie, The Silver Bullet as well as others. Skip has also played for military bases for about 5 to 6 years, up and down the coast. He played for 2 months in Japan for a Naval Base and also loves singing in Christian churches.
Tracy Sands – Keyboards, bass and lead guitar and vocals. Tracy was born in Santa Monica, CA. and has been playing music for over 40 years. Tracy is the oldest of 4 Children. He comes from a musical family background, and learned to play the piano at a young age. His father was a pianist during the Big Band Era. Tracy was a Top 40 junkie and liked all kinds of music. His first guitar was a beat up old Archtop which he played through a knight amplifier. He's invested a lot of studio time and has played with The Lively Ones. Tracy loves to write music and has occasionally had brainstorming sessions with Jim Masoner. Tracy currently is an electronic engineer at Bad Cat amplifiers in Corona CA., and also owns his own company called Vintage Technology.
He's opened for Jewel Akens, Brian Hyland, The Buckinghams, The Rip-chords, The Rascals and The Fireballs. Tracy has a profound ability to captivate his audience with his unique humor while performing.
Tony Ortiz – Lead guitar & bass player and vocals. Tony started playing guitar at a young age before playing with local bands in 1959 till present day. He has played with bands throughout The United States and has also toured military bases in the mid-west and western states. Tony has appeared with various Rock N' Roll bands backing The Platters, The Shirelles, Jimmy Clanton and Johnny Tillotson. While living in Las Vegas Nevada he played the Showroom in the Alladin Hotel, and Lounges in the Desert Inn and the Silver Slipper on the strip. Played the Union Plaza, Golden Nugget, Mint, Four Queens, and the California Club in Downtown Vegas. Then he moved to Memphis Tenn., and played with various country groups. He also entered and won First Place in a Flat Picking competition at a Bluegrass Festival. He then moved to California and played with a cover band "Code 3", formed the band "Midnight Special", played with a variety of Rock N Roll Bands and Country bands, the most recent being "The Rock-Its and 5 Star Band. Tony is a well accomplished, professional guitarist that never fails to captivate his audience with his own unique style of performing.
Buddy Mercer- 2nd lead guitar player,banjo,mandolyn,steel guitar,volcals.Buddy was raised in a family that performed music and dance for the broadway stage.He learned at a very young age to play guitar and many other instruments as well as singing.He has performed with many top name intertainers thru-out his life time and is also a studio Musician.Buddy enjoys his music and also loves playing gospel music.His style of playing Rock is wild fun and driving…his blues licks are soulful and smooth.He loves the party scene and is very friendly.